“How Do I Get My Website to Rank Higher With Content?”

The best SEO (search engine optimization) you can do for your website is to add great content to it that’s keyword researched and content that helps your prospects or customers.

I get clients asking this all the time. They want to rank their small business website higher and I explain how to write content for their blog. My guess is that most of them walk away from my answer thinking that my answer was too simple or easy. They think that there must be more to it than just writing content. They want some magic formula or piece of software.

The next thing they think about is how they’re going to sit at a computer and write something. That sounds like hard work – kind of like doing homework when they were in school. That was never fun, right? They thought those days were behind them now that they got out of high school and college. Well, if that’s you, then don’t worry – you’ve got some options.

1. Hire a Writer

writer-scrabble

It may sound strange but there are people that actually like to write. I’m kind of one of them. I like giving out whatever knowledge I have and know that it’ll be read maybe hundreds or thousands of times. It’s also creative, which I like as well.

I’ve hired writers before and it’s actually pretty easy. Here are two sites that I use:

You can come up with a headline for the article or a topic and then give them instructions on what to write and it costs between $8 and $20 for a good article. You get what they wrote, approve it or ask for changes and then it’s done. You can put it on your website or you may even be able to click a button and have it published on your website if you configure it that way. It’s pretty slick.

2. Order Articles

Before you start ordering articles, know how you’re going to spend your money. What I mean is, just don’t pick topics out of the air but do some research so that what you get back is content that will help your website and business.

Some basic keyword research will help you a lot. There are a number of ways to go about doing this. I, of course, have to plug my book because I spell out how to do it there. You want the keywords that are the “low hanging fruit” for two reasons…

One reason is that you’ll get results relatively quick. If you post an article about the right topic with a couple of the right keywords in mind, you’ll see that article start to rank within a few days. That’s always great. The other reason to go after the low hanging fruit is because you want to work your way up the tree. They will be easy keywords that will get you ranked. They’re not high traffic keywords but you’re showing Google that your website can publish the right content and it’s content that Google wants… content Google needs. You grab all those and then start working your way up the tree and it gets easier and easier if you start at the bottom.

Next, once you’ve done the keyword research and know which keywords will work best, go ahead and order a couple articles.

Ordering Articles From Writers

You’ll want the articles to end up with at least 600 words There’s really no rule anymore about length but don’t go under 600 words if you can help it. The only rule to follow is write enough to adequately cover the topic. don’t write too little but don’t write too much either. You do not, ever, want “fluffy” content to appear on your website.

Here’s an example of fluffy content (this is like nails on a chalkboard for me):

“Nowadays, everyone knows that [your keyword] is important. It’s something people deal with everyday. You can find all kinds of people using [your keyword] and it’s only going to be used more and more.”

Ok, so what did those two sentences say? Absolutely nothing. It’s junk. It’s garbage. It’s information everyone knows and you can plug almost any keyword in. Do not do this. Ever. Make sure each paragraph has value. Make sure each sentence contributes to that value. If you don’t know enough about a topic, then you need to do some research.

That kind of reminds me of this:

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“Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
from Billy Madison

Do not write fluffy content or content to get to a certain word count – only write quality content.

There are Different Levels of Writers to Choose From

I typically do not order from the lowest level or writers. I go a few levels up because I know I’ll get something good. There’s less hassle, too – meaning, less sending articles back to get fixed and so on. I’ve tried the basic level and I’ve been disappointed most of the time but if you want to do it “on the cheap” then order articles at this level but just know that you’re going to have to go through them and fix things (which you should do with any level of author, really).

Know that a good article on your website is an investment in your website. A good article will keep paying for itself over and over again in website traffic, leads and sales. This is why you don’t go cheap – cheap articles return nothing and that’s money wasted. Even spending $50 on an article is still a bargain for all that it’s going to produce for you. Make sure you think long term.

Help Your Writers

With that said, know that you have to help your writers. You can’t expect them to be as knowledgeable as you about your business/industry. Give them some resources. The more you give them, the better the articles they will write for you. You may find a good writer on your first order and if you do, then you would have given them the knowledge to keep writing good articles for you. If you don’t keep using them and have to search for another writer, you’ll have a list of resources to send to another writer.

To come up with these resources to give to them, look around – do some searches… that kind of thing.

If there’s a good article on your website already, give them that link. If your competitor has some good articles, send them over there. Maybe there are some videos on YouTube they can watch to “bone up” on what you need them to write about. Maybe you have some material you can send or scan and send. Like I said, just look around.

Be Specific About What You Want

typewriterTell them what kind of article you want so that they know. Be specific about what you expect back from them.

I remember I got this one writer who wrote a story. I read it and was completely confused about what I got back from them. I wanted an article with information (kind of like what you’re reading now) and they wrote me a fictitious story. From then on, I had in my instructions that I do not want a story.

Here’s what I’ve used to send to writers as instructions:

“Please write up some good information about this topic. This needs to be an informative article, clearly written with good English and grammar. Please do some research and come up with some really good points and facts that will help people when they read this article.

The article should be interesting, informative with good supporting facts. Provide facts and benefits. Please do not write this in a story format. I don’t want a story, I would like good information.

Paragraphs should not be too large since this is for the Web. Put a space between each paragraph.  I’d like to see at least 4 separate paragraphs, so don’t make them too large.

This will be put on my website. Please do not mention the names of websites or retailers in your article.”

You can see that I wrote the same point a few, different ways. This was on purpose. I wanted to be clear and I did not want there to be any ambiguity. You might get people from different countries writing for you, so you have to specify good English and grammar. That way, when they don’t do it, you can reject the article easily.

I’ve also received articles back that have all been in one, large paragraph. I reject them immediately. They’re too difficult to read. See how I’m writing this article? The paragraphs are not large at all. I’m using headings, images, bold text and so forth. It’s a lot of words but isn’t difficult to read – it’s not a “chore” to read, you could say.

And it’s important they know the article will be on your website and it should not contain any references to any brands (unless you instruct them to do that, which… you might in some cases). I just found that if you don’t have this phrase in there, they could go on and on about how great your competition is and you don’t want that kind of article. This happens because they did a search and your competition showed up. So make sure you specify they don’t do that.

Accept or Reject Articles

In a few days, you’ll get your article back. Make sure you read it. You want to make sure it’s not filled with fluff and that there’s some meat to it. Make sure they did what you said.

If it’s great, then accept it and use it. If it’s terrible, then reject it. Another option is to have them rewrite parts of it. Maybe the first paragraph was awful but the rest of it was fine. If you do want some of it changed, make sure you give them specific feedback and instructions. Don’t just say you didn’t like it or it wasn’t good because how will that help them? The more you help them, the better article you’re going to get!

3. Write Your Own Articles

woman-computerAn option you have is to write your own articles. You might just want to take a stab at it and you might just find it fun to write. You never know until you try.

If you do write your own articles, here are some tips that will help you.

Use the AIDA Method

The acronym AIDA stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

You grab their attention with the headline and first paragraph. You then get their interest (go a little deeper). You then create desire. Then ask them to take action.

Here’s more:

AIDA: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action (mindtools.com)

This is a good method to follow when writing sales copy. It works well.

Rewrite Articles

A good way to start learning to write well is to learn from the experts. Find a good article that you like and rewrite it. This is not copying it but using their ideas, which is fine. Read a few sentences or a paragraph and then rewrite it in your own words. Get the same idea across but in a different way. Do that for the whole article and you’ve then got an original article that’s your own.

Write Compelling Headlines

This is huge.

There’s a science to compelling headlines. I’m going to be writing more about this but it basically has to be something to make people want to click. It has to compel them to click – as if they don’t click, they feel like they’ll be missing out on something important.

With compelling headlines, you usually tap into emotion. It can be fear based, for example. If they don’t do this one thing, life will never be the same – that kind of thing.

Here are some samples:

  • Which One Of These ______ Problems Do You Want To Get Rid Of?
  • Where _______ Is And How To Get It
  • What Would You Rather Do: _____ Or ______?
  • What Everybody Ought To Know About The _____
  • WARNING: Do Not Try Another _____ Until You Get This FREE Report
  • This is the Information your _____ doesn’t want you to know about!
  • These must be some of the best kept _____ secrets in the world
  • The Secret to ______ Is Simply _____!
  • The Quickest Way I Know To _______
  • The Lazy Man’s Way To _____
  • The Amazing Secret Of How You Can _____ With No _____!
  • Teach Yourself _____ In 2 Days
  • Stop Dreaming And Start _____
  • Sick And Tired Of _____?
  • Scientists Discover The Secret That _____
  • Never Ever Suffer From _____ Again!
  • Improve Your _____ In As Little As 2 Days
  • How To Take The Headache Out Of _____
  • How To Master The Art And Science Of _____
  • How To Make People Line Up And Beg To _____
  • Here’s A Way To _____ That Has Never Failed Yet!
  • Discover The _____ Secret
  • Discover The Amazing Winning Secret To _____
  • Can You Pass This _____ Test?

Hopefully these help you get the idea.

Just think if you saw the headline you wrote, would you click on it?

Another Great Kind of Article – Lists

In addition to that, another thing that works great are “Top 10” list articles. They don’t have to be the top 10 – that’s just a number. It can be any number. Some people say odd numbers work better. This article is just the top 4 but you can see it offers a lot of content. This technique works in any industry, too. The reason is works is when people search for something, they’re trying to find an answer. They think there’s just one answer most of the time and then they search and see an article to offers 10 or 17 or 25 ways and they’re more likely to click on that article because they figure at least one of those ways has to work.

Some examples:

  • Top 11 Methods to Grow Tomatoes
  • 15 Easy Ways to Cook Dinner in 12 Minutes or Less
  • 13 Funny Jokes to Tell on Your First Date
  • 27 Ways People Are Doing Their Taxes Wrong

You get the idea.


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It’s a free download I’m offering called “113 Article Headline Examples” and it’ll give you more ideas for articles and titles that will get your article clicked on!

You can use the headlines as they are or else modify them to work for your article. It’s easy to use – just copy and paste.

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Write Search/Keyword Based Headlines

Another headline writing method that works pretty well is writing what people would be searching on (what they type into search engines). These kinds of articles usually start with “How to…” or “What is the Best…” and so on. I did that with this article (or maybe I went back later and changed it… you be the judge).

Write Quality Content!

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No copying and pasting!

The content you publish on your business website must be original… like, all of it. Do not ever copy text from somewhere else and use it. So no “copy and paste.” That’s cheating and Google (as well as other search engines) know it. If you do this, you’re wasting your time – seriously. It’s not even worth doing.

Here’s a great article with more tips on writing quality content that you should read:

Quality Content Factors: A List That’s Actually Helpful (searchengineland.com)

Basically, you want to help your website visitors. This means answer a question that you know they’ll have or be searching for. Provide them with unique insight that you can’t get from most places. You have the chance to establish yourself (your company) as the expert in a certain area (niche) if you just create awesome content.

You can try to write a guide on something. This means write the step by step instructions on how to do it. Adding pictures helps a lot, too.

Two more great points he brings up in the article are:

  • Make Sure It Inspires, Educates And/Or Entertains
  • Ask Yourself If You Would Share It

These are important. This is a little “gut check” to make sure you’re not publishing fluff. Here, with my website, I have my name on it. It’s my reputation that I’m working on. I’m only going to publish great stuff here because of that. Make sure you treat your website the same way.

Take Your Time / WOW Factor

Consider taking an hour a day to write an article. I didn’t say write an article a day, I said one article. Put 5-10 hours into one article. If you did that, do you think it would be great? Doing that is WAY better than writing 5-10 single articles.

Basically, you want to write a small book and give it away on your website. You want a “WOW” factor with your articles. They’re so good that people have to share them and link to them. They found a good resource and they’ll want to brag about it.

4. Post the Article on Your Website

Now that you have your article or articles, get ready to post it on your website!

If you have a blog – put it there. A blog can be called anything. It can be called “News” or “The Latest” or whatever. The word “blog” is short for “web log” and it’s just a tool to help you publish content. Blogging software helps you go in, write, hit “Publish” and then it puts the article where it needs to be. It’s the latest one that shows up on lists on the side of your website and so forth. It might even publish the headline on Facebook and Twitter for you.

If you don’t have a blog for your small business website, you need one. It’s the easiest way to publish content. And don’t go to a separate blogging service. You want credit for the content, so it needs to be published under your domain name – not at Blogger.com or WordPress.com or somewhere.

Post Like You’ll Never Touch it Again

What that means is do it well. Use images, add YouTube videos, make links – just really polish it up before you post it as if you’ll never go into it again. Of course, you can always edit content later and when you get to optimizing content, it’s a good idea to go back in to old content but what I like to do is pretend that it’s in top notch condition when you first publish it. Make the best impression you can the first time – that’s best.

Here are some tips:

  • Use bullet points – this makes articles easy to scan
  • Use headings and sub-headings. You’re probably going to use H2 and H3 headings since your H1 heading should already be used up with the headline/title of the article.
  • Make good points bold
  • Use italics where appropriate
  • Link out to high value websites
  • Add related YouTube videos
  • Use images that add to your content
  • Have a conclusion at the end that wraps everything up

You, of course, want to proof read it.

Put it Aside, Come Back and THEN Publish it

clock-timeOften, I’ll write something and then go away. This might be a half hour or even a day or two. I’ll come back to the article to finish it and I’ll end up adding 500 words – just here and there. I’ve had time to process it more and I’ll come back and write up new sections to polish it up more.

Once I’ve read it over a few times, added links, images, videos and gave it the final polish, I’ll publish it. Again… post it like you’ll never touch it again.

Don’t Worry, It Gets Easier

The more you order article or write them and the more you publish them, the easier it gets. I used to struggle through writing but I can now write a thousand or two words without much trouble. This article is over 3000 words. It could be a small book. Something like I’ve done here is a really good type of article to aim for.

Here are some final tips to make sure you look professional doing this:

  1. Put images on the right side – not the left or as full width. Our eyes have been trained to read a line and go back all the way to the left to get to the next line. Images on the right help compliment what you’ve written.
  2. Space images out. Don’t put them too close together. Put them every few paragraphs.
  3. Do not center align paragraphs. Again, we’re all trained to go back to the left to read the next line. You’re not going to win awards for center aligned paragraphs and it’s an amateur move.
  4. Use good images. I’ve got some resources here on my website where I list some good stock image websites to use. If you’re a good photographer (which largely depends on good lighting), then take your own photos and use them.
  5. Link to high value websites and also link to other pages on your own website. This linking passes along link juice and keeps people on your website.
  6. Include call to action (CTA) statements. Ask people to do things. It might be small like follow you on Facebook – or all the way to large, like place an order online.
  7. Set unique titles and meta descriptions.
  8. Share your own articles on your social media accounts. Get the word out.

Conclusion

Publishing great content is, again, the best thing for SEO (to rank your website higher). You’re also building your brand because you’re showing that you’re an expert on something. Content you publish keeps working for you, 24/7. Think about that – what other things have you done today that do that for you?

Don’t put off doing this. Get into publishing content now. Work out a blogging calendar so that you know which topics to target each month. Do your keyword research because it’s like taking a reading on a map before a long journey and you want to make sure you end up in the right place!


If you think this article is good, please share this article on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll also answer any questions you put in the comments area.

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